The government should use the “great challenge” of climate change to recalibrate Britain’s economy and revitalise the north and Midlands, an academic whose research has been championed by Dominic Cummings has suggested. Richard Jones, a professor of physics at Sheffield University, found himself in the limelight during the election when Mr Cummings endorsed a paper he wrote. It called for a total rebalancing of the UK economy and a massive programme of government investment in the technologies of the future. He called for the new investment to be focused in areas of low economic productivity such as northern England and Wales, with a clear industrial strategy to boost growth. Speaking to The Times Professor Jones said tackling climate change had to be central to the government’s industrial strategy. But he warned policymakers had yet to appreciate the enormity of the challenge of Britain’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050. He said it would require the government to rethink its approach to nuclear power and potentially back the nascent technology of small-scale nuclear reactors to generate electricity. Professor Jones added that the government’s previous approach to nuclear power had been a “case study in how not to do industrial policy”.
Times 19th Dec 2019 read more »